Peter Schandl

Steppe Lake

The Lake Neusiedl was formed 20,000 years ago as a result of tectonic movements and covering an area of 320 km² it is the largest Austrian lake. The only 1.5m deep steppe lake, surrounded by a 5km broad reed belt and marshes exerts a decisive influence over the climate and the viticulture in Rust.
The humidifying and temperature buffering effect of the large, shallow water body act as climate regulators. On hot summer days the water temperature of the lake rises with the heat being absorbed and emitted in the autumn.
Besides, the Lake Neusiedl plays a crucial role in the production of the noble sweet Ruster Ausbruch. The morning mists coming from the lake in autumn benefit the affliction of the fully ripe grapes with the noble rot fungus Botrytis cinerea. The fungus perforates the skin thus accelerating evaporation. In the course of the day sun and wind dry the grapes to raisins. As a result the concentration of sugar and typical aromas in the grape increase considerably.

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